roundel jsl spacer hunter1
F540 Operations Record Book July 1956 .
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Fg. Off. C. Boyack.___ Refs
      chasboyack.jpg, 1427 bytes  
R.A.F. JEVER 2.7.56        The month started very poorly mainly because of the bad weather, and very little
training could be done.   To begin with "Amber" conditions prevailed , and throughout
the day these alternated with "Red" conditions.   A pair of our aircraft were diverted
to Oldenburg at 13:20 hours today, but they returned to base before flying ceased
at 15:00 hours.
     The main training carried out was cine at 20,000 feet and 25,000 feet, with
pairs controlled descents and landings to conclude the sortie.
                                         Hunter Flights   13     Hunter Hours   9.00
  3.7.56        Today the Squadron began a week's tour of duty as Primary Battle Flight.   The
weather was good and with especially late and early sorties, a good days training
was carried out.   The purpose of the early and late sorties was to intercept a Comet
travelling to and from Moscow, and on both flights the interceptions were successful
and identification runs in close formation were carried out.
     The standard of control today was quite good, and a very mixed bag of aircraft was
successfully intercepted.   As usual, the final turns onto the target had to be made
visually, but generally the interception courses were good.   [Click to see the controller's side to this story.]   [Click to see report of this incident in Ken Senar's life story.]
                                         Hunter Flights   36     Hunter Hours   28.25
  4.7.56        Only one Battle Flights sortie and one air test could be carried out this morning
as although the weather was good, all airmen were required for a lecture by the
Station Commander.   After the first sortie on which the standard of control was fair,
the airfield closed for Sports afternoon, and officers busied themselves with their
secondary duties for the remainder of the morning.
                                         Hunter Flights   6     Hunter Hours   4.30
  5.7.56        Weather once more severely restricted the amount of training possible, and
Battle Flight flew only four times during the day.   Flying ceased at 15:00 hours
because of the weather and since we were late starting and flew short sorties all day,
very few hours were logged by the Squadron.
     There was no G.C.I. Unit operating until 11:00 hours this morning but from then on,
the control was quite fair and several successful interceptions were carried out.
                                         Hunter Flights   16     Hunter Hours   11.25
  6.7.56        A good day's flying was carried out today.   The weather was good, and for most
of the day five aircraft were serviceable, enabling a spare aircraft to take-off
with Battle Flight and so attempt to ensure that four chickens were always on patrol.
     Once more the standard of control was quite fair and successful interceptions
were made on Venoms, Hunters, and two B. 29 Tankers.
                                         Hunter Flights   31     Hunter Hours   23.35
  7.7.56        A Station Commander's Parade was held this morning and two complete practices
of the Ceremonial for the A.O.C. were done.   The standard of drill. etc., is
apparently satisfactory at this stage but more hard work is required before the big
day itself.
     Battle Flight began at 10:00 hours this morning, but owing to unserviceability
only seven sorties could be flown before the airfield closed at 12:30 hours for
the week-end.
                                         Hunter Flights   7     Hunter Hours   5.55
  9.7.56        Serviceability was the big restricting factor in today's flying programme ,
and unfortunately it was impossible to get four aircraft airborne on Battle Flight
on three occasions.   In actual fact, to ensure getting four up on the last sortie
of the day, we were obliged to enrol the assistance of No. 98 Squadron.
The standard of control today was poorer than it has been all week.   The controllers
were very apologetic about their bent weapons and were obviously trying hard to help
us, but too often the information given was faulty and, on several occasions, the
target trace disappeared just as Battle Flight was closing to visual range.
                                         Hunter Flights   25     Hunter Hours   17.30
  10.7.56   Poor weather all day prevented almost any training from being carried out.   As we
were duty Squadron, our aircraft were standing by for a weather check, but on two
occasions the aircraft started up only to be turned back.   The low cloud lifted suff-
iciently for two aircraft to carry out a weather check at 16.00 hours, but there was
no additional flying.
                                         Hunter Flights   2     Hunter Hours   1.00
  11.7.56   Poor weather once more prevented us from flying at all today.   All pilots and groundcrews
were kept busy however, preparing the Hangar and domestic accommodation for the
forthcoming visit of the A.O.C..   Pilots also busied themselves with their secondary
duties, and now all departments are fairly well up to the mark.
The airfield closed at 12.30 hours for Sports afternoon.
                                         Hunter Flights   Nil     Hunter Hours   Nil
  12.7.56   Our recent poor weather improved slightly today to permit flying with the initial
limitation of one pair per Squadrton.   In addition to weather, the problem of
serviceability again cropped up, and this also restricted the amount of training
Almost all sorties were devoted to Cine at either 20,000 or 30,000 feet, and these
flights were concluded by pairs controlled descents and landings.
                                         Hunter Flights   17     Hunter Hours   12.50
  13.7.56   The day started well, with good weather and six aircraft serviceable, but a spate of
minor unserviceabilities soon cut down the number of aircraft available.   Several
Maxeret failures cropped up and radio snags were also prominent.
High level battle formation, with tail chases and tactical descents, was the main
training carried out, although there were a few aerobatic sories.   Flight Lieutenant
, from Fassberg, who is here for re-familiarisation on the Hunter before
going to D.F.L.S., flew four times today and hopes to fly once more tomorrow before
retruning to his parent unit.
                                         Hunter Flights   24     Hunter Hours   18.10
  14.7.56   The entire effort of the Squadron was today devoted to servicing and cleaning aircraft,
and apart from one air test from A.S.F., there was no flying.
A Station Commander's Parade was held this morning , which took the form of a rehearsal
for the A.O.C..   The standard of drill is improviong to the satisfaction of the Station
, but more practice is required to clear up several minor but important
                                         Hunter Flights   1     Hunter Hours   1.00
  16.7.56   Serviceability was once more the restricting factor on our training today, although
a parade rehearsal prevented any flying before 11.20 hours.   After a few cine exercises,
the main practice done was aerobatics, incorporating practice flame-out controlled
descents, and bad weather circuits.   One pilot also carried out manual flying and
                                         Hunter Flights   17     Hunter Hours   13.15
  17.7.56   Another rehearsal of the A.O.C.'s Parade was held this morning and so flying was again
late in starting.   The first aircraft did not take-off until 11.15 hours.
Serviceability was a little better today however and by 13.00 hours, four aircraft
were flying.   Cine was the main training done until 15.00 hours when there was a rehearsal
of the air demonstration for the A.O.C.   It was decided to hold a re-arming exercise
instead of the normal fly-past for the A.O.C., and so 16 aircraft of the Wing will
do one fly-over in a box of boxes, break from battle formationm, re-arm, and then
take-off as a Wing.
The rehearsal today went off quite well, and Squadron Leader Chapman brought the
Wing on target, spot on time.
                                         Hunter Flights   21     Hunter Hours   14.15
  18.7.56   The morning began with a final rehearsal of the re-arming exercise which once more
went off fairly well.   After these two flights , the main training done was cine,
but unfortunately, we were again restricted by unserviceability and only 22 sorties
could be flown all day.
                                         Hunter Flights   22     Hunter Hours   16.45
  19.7.56   As today was the last day before the A.O.C.'s Inspection, all officers and airmen
were very busy making last-minute preparations for his visit.   Apart from Air - Tests,
there was no flying by the Squadron this morning, and this afternoon was given over
to a full dress rehearsal for the Ceremonial parade.   Thanks to the last three
rehearsal parades, the standard of drill generally has improved considerably
and the Station Commander seems quite pleased with the improvement shown.
                                         Hunter Flights   3     Hunter Hours   1.30
  20.7.56   The day of the A.O.C.'s Inspection started with the usual ceremonial parade.  The
weather was very good, but possibly slightly warm for a parade and, unfortunately
several airmen collapsed.   Nevertheless, Air Vice-Marshal Ubee seemed very pleased with
the parade.   This afternoon the A.O.C. visited all Squadrons in turn, and was very
impressed with the murals portraying 4 Squadron aircraft, which decorate the Pilots'
Crew Room.
The re-arming exercise went off quite well and very quick times for the turn-rounds
were recorded.   There was no other flying and the airfield closed at 1700 hours for
the week-end.
                                         Hunter Flights   8     Hunter Hours   5.15
  23.7.56   Bad weather once more severely restricted the amount of flying possible today.
Servicing troubles also caused the loss of a few sorties, the main snag being a
check on the aileron jack connecting rod, which was found necessary following an
incident to a Hunter of No. 20 Squadron at A.P.S. Sylt.   None of our aircraft was
found to be defective.
The main training done today was cine at 30,000 feet, but a few aerobatic and bad
weather circuit practices were also done.   Local night flying was also carried
                                         Hunter Flights   22     Hunter Hours   16.40
  24.7.56   A fair day's flying was done today, and with improving serviceability, we are beginning
to hope that we may, after all, reach our target of hours.   The majority of a flying
was devoted to cine exercises and all pilots seem to be settling in to the high level,
high speed type of attack once more.   Most of our cine exercises were concluded
with tail chases and usually also tactical descents or Q.G.H.s.
                                         Hunter Flights   29     Hunter Hours   23.15
  25.7.56   Although we observed a normal sports afternoon today, twenty flights were completed
this morning - almost all of them being devoted to cine practices.   Deteriorating
weather restricted us to two pairs per Squadron after 11.00 hours local and also
prevented us from flying this afternoon.   After our recent fairly concentrated
cine programme, it is intended to switch our effort to high level battle formation
practice, except for an occasional cine sortie.
                                         Hunter Flights   20     Hunter Hours   15.15
  26.7.56   Good weather and reasonable serviceability allowed a good day's training today.
Most of our flights were devoted to high level battle formation practices and the
2 Group G.C.I. units were utilised for P.I.s.   The standard of control was only
fair at best and, unfortunately there was not very much trade, but considerable
benefit was derived from these practices.
Two new pilots arrived on the Squadron within the last week.   One of them, Plt. Off.
is suffering from foot trouble but the other Plt. Off. Hawtin began flying
with us today after a preliminary flight in a Vampire T. 11 with the Squadron

                                         Hunter Flights   49     Hunter Hours   37.35
  27.7.56   Today was the first of what will, we hope, be many transfer visits between Squadrons.
Four of our aircraft led by the Squadron Commander, flew down to R.A.F. Bruggen
and flew from there for most of the day, being serviced by No. 130 Squadron groundcrew.
In return, six aircraft of No. 130 Squadron flew from here being serviced by our
personnel.   During their stay here, No. 130 Squadron pilots were conncentrating on
weapons training, and four pilots carried out live firing on a flag towed on a
Sylt Range by A.P.S. Towing Squadron.
Meanwhile our pilots were carrying out P.I.s from Bruggen, with the assistance of
the 83 Group G.C.I. Unit, and our remaining pilots here were doing close and high
level battle formation practices.   The co-operation between both sets of pilots and
groundcrews was excellent, and both formations were very pleased with the quick
Today the ban on low flying was lifted but there are still several restrictions which
must be observed to ensure a higher degree of safety.
                                         Hunter Flights   40     Hunter Hours   31.45
  28.7.56   This morning was observed as a fuill flying morning and there was no parade.   The
weather was excellent and with good serviceability, 24 sorties were flown.   All
aircraft flew on sections of four practicing high level battle formation , with
tail chases, dogfights, and either tactical or controlled descents.
                                         Hunter Flights   24     Hunter Hours   17.50
  30.7.56   Very strong, gusty crosswinds severely cut down the amount of flying possible
today.   There was no flying at all from 0930 hours to 13.45 hours and even after
that, flying was restricted to experienced pilots only.   These restrictions were
especially galling, as only 19.30 hours were needed to achieve our target.   However,
it is hoped that tomorrow may see the reaching of our task of hours.
It was decided to fly our aircraft in pairs today, in view of the prevailing
weather, and so more cine exercises figured prominently in the authorisation
                                         Hunter Flights   23     Hunter Hours   12.50
  31.7.56   The day dawned dull and very windy but with only 3 hours 30 minutes needed to
achieve the target when flying started, it was soon reached.   The main training
carried out was cine practice at 20,000 and 30,000 feet concluding with tail chases
and controlled descents.
This afternnon, the concluding parts of "War in the Air" were shown in Flying Wing
Headquarters and all pilots not engaged in important duties attended.
                                         Hunter Flights   6     Hunter Hours   4.50
(J. R. CHAPMAN)                 
Squadron Leader,               
Officer Commanding          
Number 4 Squadron